Electrification Ratio Doesn’t Address the Reliability of Electricity Quality in Indonesia

press release

Jakarta, August 22, 2023 – The electrification ratio in Indonesia is recorded to have reached 99.63 percent, and the ratio of electrified villages reached 99.79 percent at the end of 2022, based on the 2022 Performance Achievement report and the 2023 Work Plan of the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Subsector. However, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) encourages the government to evaluate and update the definition of the electrification ratio in Indonesia to include meeting the needs of the Indonesian people for quality electricity. Currently, the definition of the electrification ratio is still limited to the ratio of the number of electrified households to total households.

Deon Arinaldo, Energy Transformation Program Manager at IESR, stated in the webinar “Energy Transition in National Electrification Equity” that access to quality electricity will impact the improvement of people’s quality of life.

“Access to electricity should not only provide the availability of electricity but also the opportunity for recipients to enhance their quality of life and the economy,” he said.

Alvin P. Sisdwinugraha, an Electricity System and Renewable Energy Analyst at IESR, mentioned in his presentation that the high electrification ratio in Indonesia hasn’t been able to ensure the accessibility, reliability, capacity, and quality of electricity received by the community. According to him, new indicators are required to provide an overview of the quality of electricity access in Indonesia, such as the Multi-Tier Framework (MTF), which can assess the spectrum of service quality from the perspective of electricity users.

“IESR attempted to measure the quality of electricity access using MTF in NTB and NTT in 2019. As a result, electricity was not available 24 hours a day and was limited to electronic devices and low-power lighting,” he explained.

He encouraged the government to adopt evaluation methods that incorporate the quality of electricity services as a key indicator of achievement related to energy access. Alvin stated that a comprehensive evaluation of the electrification ratio, considering the necessity for quality electricity, requires coordination among relevant ministries and institutions such as the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, PLN, Ministry of Villages, and local/provincial governments.

Moreover, IESR also urges the government to provide dedicated and consistent support for ensuring quality electricity access. This involves addressing diverse challenges, including hard-to-reach geographical locations, limited financing, and local capacity in maintaining electricity facilities through the utilization of renewable energy. Furthermore, the indicators employed to determine electrification ratios and electrified villages need expansion to encompass the quality of electricity received by the households or villages in question.

Marlistya Citraningrum, IESR’s Sustainability Energy Access Program Manager, elaborated on the current policy landscape. She highlighted the Presidential Regulation Number 11 of 2023, which grants increased authority to regional governments, particularly in the development of renewable energy.

“This added authority should be complemented by local government initiatives aimed at devising programs aligned with the goal of providing energy access, particularly through local renewable energy solutions. The principle of energy decentralization enables the pursuit of self-reliant energy solutions with the involvement of various stakeholders, contributing to enhanced community welfare through sustainable energy access,” she added.

Marlistya emphasized that energy decentralization utilizing renewable energy sources will create opportunities for broader and participatory exploration of utilization. This approach is expected to facilitate enhanced electricity access and bolster the reliability and quality of electricity.

The discussion regarding the acceleration of renewable energy utilization through energy transition will be further explored during the Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue (IETD) 2023, taking place from September 18 to 20, 2023. The event will be conducted in a hybrid format in Jakarta. IETD 2023 is organized by IESR and the Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF), and it will engage numerous experts to delve deeper into strategies for transforming electricity system operations, thereby enhancing the renewable energy mix. Registration for IETD 2023 is available at www.ietd.info

Quality Aspects of Energy Access for Public Should be Taken into Account

Jakarta (18/6/2021), the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has launched the Patriot Energi program as one of the efforts to electrify underdeveloped, outermost, frontier (3T) villages, including transmigration areas. The Patriot Energi program invites 100 young people to receive training and then are assigned to various regions in Indonesia for 5 months – 1 year.

The tasks of these energy patriots include mapping the potential of renewable energy, assisting the PLN (Persero) de-dieselization program, and assisting village electricity independence, including assisting and training local communities to operate and maintain renewable energy installations that will be used to electrify the village.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, Arifin Tasrif, explained that currently, Indonesia together with all countries in the world are trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one of which is produced by the energy sector. But on the other hand, the government also continues to strive to fulfill its obligations to provide access to electricity for the entire community.

“So we are also trying to achieve energy sovereignty based on green energy,” said Arifin Tasrif in his opening remark.

The government’s efforts to electrify all areas in the village through various efforts deserve to be appreciated. This initiative needs to be followed up by considering aspects of sustainability and the quality of energy access received by the public. The definition of ‘electrification ratio’ currently used by the government is still limited to whether it is connected or unconnected. The quality of the connected electricity such as voltage stability, frequency of power outages, and affordable costs has not been taken into account.

Many areas in Indonesia still receive low-quality electricity, not accessible for 24 hours, and only for the use of basic lighting and electronic equipment with very low power, but are limited for productive economic activities. In fact, to encourage access to sustainable energy and quality productivity is the key.

The government’s next homework is to ensure that every citizen has access to electricity that is not only connected but also of high quality, including improving definitions, providing road maps, as well as allocation of costs and human resources. Ensuring maintenance costs and human resources who will manage renewable energy electricity installations in the area will create a sustainable electrification program. Access to quality energy must be Indonesia’s development paradigm to achieve energy justice.